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What Is Amazing
Heather Christle

Wesleyan Poetry Series

2012 • 80 pp. 6 1/4 x 9 1/4"

$15.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7369-8
$24.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7277-6

$12.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7278-3

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“…look out for Heather Christle’s What is Amazing; Christle has been generating lots of buzz in poetry circles for her jumpy poems about, among other things, love.”—Craig Morgan Teicher, Publishers Weekly

Poems stunned by the world and their presence in it

Inspired by a voracious curiosity about humans and other subjects, the poems in Heather Christle’s What Is Amazing describe and invent worlds in an attempt to understand through participation. The book draws upon the wisdom of foolishness and the logic of glee, while simultaneously exploring the suffering inherent to embodied consciousness. Speakers play out moments of bravado and fear, love and mortality, disappointment and desire. They socialize incorrigibly with lakes, lovers, fire, and readers, reasoning their way to unreasonable conclusions. These poems try to understand how it is that we come to recognize and differentiate objects and beings, how wholly each is attached to its name, and which space reveals them. What Is Amazing delights in fully inhabiting its varied forms and voices, singing worlds that often coincide with our own.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Christle’s third collection can be offhandedly dark and spikily funny (“Was that a gunshot or / was it a look of temerity”). Swans are murderers, some husbands so small one must lie down to chat. Then come the epiphanies.”—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

“My sincere thanks to Heather Christle…”Jackson Sabbagh, The Faster Times

“(T)he poems in What is Amazing radiate with boundless joy and celebration, rich in an enthusiasm that so much other poetry lacks. …These poems are wonderfully fresh, and the sytax startles in such strange ways, electrifying subtle musing against the absolutely fantastic and banal. Her poems know full well how to live in the moment, and capture the same.” —Rob McLennan

“Christle writes from an intelligent, fierce, vulnerable place where she searches for whatever truths—and here I mean fictional truths as much as factual truths—it can find. This search, which is divided into three parts, ranges through the chaos of loss to the relative comforts of encroaching order. The progression of the subject matter is mirrored in the way in which Christle uses—or abandons—form and punctuation…Anyone who is interested in contemporary American poetry should read this book and be stunned by the various places that it is possible to visit and return from; wounded, deeper, unscathed and enriched.”, ,
Alyson Hallett, Poetry Salzburg Review

“A book that will awaken you to wonders all around you—including the listening ears of flowers, the secret messages of trees and the ‘taste of saltwater and baseball.’”—Deborah Landau, “Books that will Boost Your Mood Instantly”

What Is Amazing instills a sense of discovery that recalls a child lifting a stone in their garden to uncover a colony of ants. Christle presents us with a glimpse into the tiny husbandry of the world we pass over, incrementally, from day to day. … The poems in this collections make their way, as the reader does, through a series of intuitive leaps, led by a ferocious desire to view their surroundings as if for the first time.”Chris Emslie, The Edinborough Review

“If one aspect of poetry’s work is to capture the texture of subjectivity in any given moment, then Heather Christle’s poems may well be one of the places readers turn when they want to know what it was like to be young and paying attention in the early 21st century. These sly, nimble notations of consciousness feel like pages from a secret notebook, but they’re oddly bold and forthright, too. Christle is a kind of psychic seismograph, recording the major and minor tremors that ripple through her awareness, and her poems are wide awake.”—Mark Doty

What Is Amazing is irreverent and frequently very funny, skillfully written, and well crafted. Although it doesn’t show it all that much. Just the right amount.”—Juliana Spahr, author of Fuck You-Aloha-I Love You

From the Book:

The Small Husband

If you want to talk to your husband
and your husband is very small
you lie down on the floor
and the floor is cold
but you warm it
and you look at the wall
where it meets the floor
You are five to eight inches
from the wall
and there are no other noises
Traffic everywhere has stopped
for the holiday
but the parade does not come by
for another couple of hours
and you are neither hungry
nor too full
and your body is a long silk bag
full of lightweight batteries
arranged on the floor
so it touches the floor
in the maximum number of places
and math has real world value
it turns out
which is not all that surprising
and there are weekends and desires
gestating in your throat
pink and hairless
like mammals
and you close your eyes
and say things to your husband
but he is small
no make him even smaller

HEATHER CHRISTLE has taught at Emory University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and is the author of The Difficult Farm and The Trees The Trees.

Click here for author's website.

This project is supported in part by an award from
National Endowment for the Arts

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:02:10 -0500